UFC Fight Night 38 Preview

ufc_fn38The fight card at UFC 139 was full of former champions including two that were looking to get back in the title conversation. Mauricio Rua and Dan Henderson would highlight the event in a matchup of living legends. Both fighters were nearing the end of their careers but were hoping that a win would gain them a chance to make a run at the title. They were both looking to extend their careers and eventually get a shot at Jon Jones and the light heavyweight title. Their need to win the fight was shown in a big way as they would put on an amazing performance. It was a slugfest with both fighters swinging for the fences looking to not only win but end the fight early. Neither would get their wish as they would go through five rounds of exchanging blows and almost ending the fight. In the end it was Dan Henderson who would take the win but as soon as the fight was over fans were asking when both fighters would face off again. It has been entered into the UFC library as one of the best fighters ever and fans would get their wish to see it again at UFC Fight Night 39. It has not been the best road for either fighter since they faced off in 2011 as both have struggled to put together wins. Dan Henderson seemed on his way to earning bigger fights and beginning to step into the title conversation after the impressive win again Rua. He would get the chance when he took on Lyoto Machida in his next fight but the momentum was lost. Henderson would take a split decision loss to Machida and would add another Split Decision loss to Rashad Evens and a KO loss to Vitor Belfort. The three fights were all chances for Henderson to make an impression against some of the best fighters in the division but he would not be able to take advantage. Now Henderson sits on a three fight losing streak with his career seemingly coming to an end soon and another title run far off. Without those things to motivate him Henderson may just be looking to end his career with a few really good fights. He hopes to get that when he takes on the man who gave him one of his best fights in Mauricio Rua. Since losing their last matchup at UFC 139 Rua has struggled to string together wins but has had more success than Henderson. After losing to Henderson, Rua would recover and beat Brandon Vera via 4th round KO but would lose his next two against top contenders. A decision loss to Alexander Gustafsson and a submission loss to Chael Sonnen would put the title run hopes at bay for Rua. Rua comes into this rematch winning his last fight with a first round KO of James Te Huna and is looking to put another win on the board to reignite his hopes of taking a run at the title. If Rua can avenge his loss to Henderson the fight could push him into another few matchups that may have an impact on the title picture. Rua and Henderson are hoping to put on another show for all of the UFC fans as they hope to match the fight they put on in the first fight. The last fight saw both fighters stand and trade but expect more of the fight to go to the ground as Rua had success in the ground and pound the last time around. They are both strikers with a background in fighting on the ground as Henderson is a wrestler and Rua a Jiu Jitsu practitioner. The fight will likely stay standing until one of the fighters realizes he is losing the stand-up battle and looks to take the fight to the ground. It is another matchup of two legends with plenty to lose and so neither will give up but Rua has a little more motivation and will earn the win this time with a unanimous decision.

As the UFC once again travels to Brazil they will highlight plenty of home-grown talent including Mauricio Rua in the main event. One of these talents will be a fighter who came up through one of the UFC’s strategies to bring more superstars from Brazil into the limelight. Cezar Ferreira would win the first season of The Ultimate Fighter Brazil and has taken his chance at the UFC to heart. After winning the show Ferreira would move on to try to build his resume to become the latest winner of the reality show to earn a UFC title. It is an exclusive group that includes Forrest Griffin, Matt Serra, and Rashad Evans. Ferreira is hoping to enter that exclusive club but will have to do so the long way as he will not be getting a title shot in the near future. He has spent his post-show career fighting at the bottom of the middleweight division as the show has given him a chance to work his way up the rankings to earn a shot at the title. He has responded well to the task of working his way slowly up the rankings in the division earning a submission win over Thiago Santos and a split decision win over Daniel Sarafian. He looks to continue the grind against a fellow TUF Alumni CB Dollaway who is trying to get back on track to the title fight. The member of the season 7 class of The Ultimate Fighter has put together small streaks but is coming off of a loss to Tim Boetsch in his last fight and is trying to hold on to a spot in the UFC. If Ferreira can earn the win against Dollaway it could mean the beginning to much better competition for the Brazilian while a win for Dollaway could mean new life in his career that might help him move up to better competition. The fight might take place mostly on the mat as Ferreira is a BJJ practitioner while Dollaway is a wrestler. If Dollaway is smart though he will stay away from the submission game of Ferreira and use his stand-up to keep the fight in his favour. Both fighters remain in the lower rankings of the middleweight division but both are trying to get out and looking to do that with a win in Brazil.

 

Fight Card

Main Event:
Mauricio “Shogun” Rua vs. Dan “Hendo” Henderson (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Main Card:
Cezar “Mutante” Ferreira vs. CB “The Doberman” Dollaway (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Leonardo Santos vs. “Stormin” Norman Parke (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Fabio Maldonado vs. Gian Villante (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Michel “Tractor” Prazeres vs. Mairbek “Beckan” Taisumov (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Rony Jason vs. “Super” Steven Siler (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Undercard:
Diego “DB” Brandao vs. Will “The Kill” Chope (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Ronny Markes vs. Thiago “Marreta” Santos (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Jussier Formiga vs. Scott “Young Guns” Jorgensen (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Thiago “Bodão” Perpétuo vs. Kenny Robertson (Sportsnet 360/Fox Sports 1)

Francimar “Bodao” Barroso vs. Hans Stringer (UFC Fight Pass)

Godofredo Pepey vs. Noad “Neo” Lahat (UFC Fight Pass)

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